We arrive at Hayabusa Village, a place in even shittier shape than when we left it. Here, Ryu’s old man, Joe Hayabusa, fends off an overdressed warrior named Genshin. The walls around them are ablaze, but nothing burns stronger than Genny’s hunger for…the Demon Statue.
I like to think of this chapter as a typical Hollywood sequel. “Ryu is back…with some all new toys to play with.” Cut to our hero dismembering foes like there’s no tomorrow. “This Summer, Ryu’s gonna Haya-bust-a cap in your ass.”
Our adventure begins with a young woman asking a very old man about the whereabouts of our protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa. While blonde and bound in leather, this woman is not Rachel, the demon hunter with the water bed breasts from our previous adventure. The senior citizen is Muramasa, the item peddler from Sigma Plus. He appears clueless about Ryu’s location, but her wish to discuss the “arch fiend” catches his attention.
Things go awry with the arrival of the Black Spider Clan, literally crashing into Muramasa’s conversation. The mystery woman brandishes her handguns, and proves she is no damsel in distress. At least for a little while.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before; Drill Dozer is the best Game Boy Advance release, and remains GameFreak’s greatest work.
W…why didn’t you stop me? There’s no way that’s the first time you’ve heard anyone say that. There’s been others…right?
Whoa. Wow…alright, let me process all this. A lot of emotions going on right now. Maybe what’s best is if I explain myself. But be warned; my adoration of Drill Dozer is so strong that you may end up feeling the same way…without even playing the game.
I’m of the mind that GameFreak really needs to stretch their wings more. Of course, I like so many others need my dose of Pokémon every couple of years. But if it comes at the cost of less wholly new ideas, then I’d be more than happy to sit a year out if it means more experiments like HarmoKnight.
What kick started this feeling was Drill Dozer, a game that couldn’t be further away from their pocket monster work. What impresses me most is how far the studio managed to take the drilling concept, one that is nothing more than turning your drill clockwise and counter (through the R and L button, respectively). GameFreak builds on this not by layering on extra abilities, but by building better levels and enemies. Your comfort with the mechanic grows along with the game, and when you feel like the time has come to settle in, Drill Dozer throws another creative obstacle at you. In time you’ll be latching onto enemies and spinning your drill in the opposite direction to launch yourself away, and speeding through the tubular innards of a boss, spinning your drill left and right to work your way through its system. It’s amazing how varied Drill Dozer remains throughout. It reminds me of Punch-Out!! in that sense, as your abilities remain the same from the beginning straight through to the end. The game grows with you, and it’s hard to not be impressed.
Thanks to my buds at Nintendo World Report, I was given the opportunity to write about the Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre. It’s a bit of software developed by folks at indieszero (a studio with one of the most eclectic catalogs I’ve ever seen; from DualPenSports, to NES Remix) that acts as both a virtual experience of the famed art museum, and as a companion piece for an actual trip.
Here’s an excerpt, where I put forward the notion that Nintendo itself could learn from the Louvre in regards to preserving history.
Perhaps there remains a lesson to be learned here after all. Before all else, the Louvre functions as a keeper of history. The facility and its staff educate, maintain, and enable the study of artwork so that visitors may understand the importance of expression. Nintendo, too, can and should preserve its own history. Their efforts are made visible through the Virtual Console and various software releases like Kirby’s Dream Collection and Super Mario All-Stars. While Nintendo’s intentions thus far have been good, there is a lot of work left to be done. Not knowing if or when I will be able to play Yoshi’s Island on the Virtual Console is a shame, and Nintendo must remedy that. Nontheless, it’s undeniable that Nintendo has a rich history that goes far beyond video games. Nintendo should reflect on its roots and consider novel ways in which gamers may learn about how the company came to be what it is today.
I hope you can find the time to check it out, as well as other Nintendo World Report works.
I’m a shitty Zelda fan.
Believe me, I do my best. I haven’t missed a Zelda game since Ocarina Of Time (my NES and SNES days are a blur of relying on adults to determine what games I should play), and I try my damnedest to finish them.
But there’s always been an odd exception that forces others to question not only my love for the series, but also for Nintendo altogether.
I haven’t played A Link To The Past.
If the leading game journalist were to climb atop a mountain,stone iPad tablet in hand, I imagine what I’ve failed to do would be one of his ten commandments.
I’d be stoned to death, or at the very least berated on Twitter.
As my buying habits dictate, I bought the game two years ago on the Wii Virtual Console, but I’ve only managed to put an hour or so into it. Story of my life.
Regardless, I ran head first into A Link Between Worlds. So, for my part, I can say that the love surrounding this latest entry is fueled by more than nostalgia.